Dr. Marshall Cahill is the director of a government institute that employs various scientific geniuses, including the elderly Dr. Nicholson, who knows that Cahill's son Neil has plagiarized a dead man's theory of molecular structure. When Nicholson threatens exposure, Dr. Cahill murders him and cleverly makes the killing look like the job of a heroin junkie who needed his fix. But clever or not, another kind of genius is on the case: the rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo. Written by
I may be biased, as I have always loved Columbo, but I really liked Mind Over Mayhem and found it very entertaining. Is it one of the best Columbos? No. But it is far from the worst. The story is very clever and absorbing overall, but has some implausibilities, I was confused about the purpose of the brandy glass and I didn't find it very easy to believe that a murderer so intelligent would trip himself up so badly and obviously with the cigar. I think these two could have been avoided, if the episode was 5 minutes longer. On the other, as usual it is a beautifully shot episode, with a fitting music score and great episode, Cahill's "...you have a very transparent mind..." being the best of the entire episode. Peter Falk is as ever sublime as Columbo, with great comic timing and his scenes with Ferrer's Cahill beautifully dynamic. Jose Ferrer is excellent, his character Cahill very intelligent and pompous. Robert Walker Jnr and Lew Ayres also give good performances, and it was a joy seeing Robby the Robot and he is well used. The reference to Steven Spielberg is unsubtle I give you that, but I didn't see it as much of a problem. All in all, entertaining and definitely worth seeing. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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